Remember high school? Remember writing essays like, “If I were the Prime Minister of India”? Well, looks like the ‘intellectuals’ and ‘economists’ of our country have now taken inspiration from 14-year-olds and come up with a 7-point agenda to deal with the economic crisis post-coronavirus pandemic. Former Aam Aadmi Party founding member Yogendra Yadav on Friday shared the list which was something even my criminally inclined psychotic nephew’s high school group could have come up with.
Leading economists, intellectuals and activists propose a 7-point Plan of Action to respond to the current crisis pic.twitter.com/YbEitn6XQw— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) May 22, 2020
Let us dissect this list point-by-point.
Bring back migrants in 10 days
The demand to bring back migrants home in 10 days is a classic example how intellectuals of India, like most mainstream media journalists, have deep contempt for maths and logic. How they arrived at this 10 days remains a mystery. They didn’t even put something like ‘a fortnight’ but exact 10 days. Do they know the total number of migrant and quantified the transportation resources to arrive at it? Were 10 days arrived at due to some statistical modeling taking into account virus spread prediction? No one knows, except 10 days.
Stand with COVID patients and frontline workers
Genius. The first ever call by PM was to show respect to them – an activity that was mocked no end by the same intellectuals. The government has already taken numerous steps to become self-reliant in terms of manufacturing PPEs, ventilators and other essentials needed to fight such an pandemic. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced Rs 20 lakh crore economic package for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan‘ – self-reliant India, to tackle the economic downturn owing to Chinese coronavirus. While one admits that there are challenges, one does not really need these great intellectuals to know it.
No one goes hungry
At the cost of sounding insensitive, this point makes it appear like India was in a utopian state where no one ever went hungry before lockdown. India has deep problem of haves and have nots created by structural problems since independence, and in fact prior to independence. So much that the first time ‘Garibi Hatao’ as election campaign was started by Indira Gandhi for 1971 general elections and same was used by her grandson Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 elections. Poor in India, have been unfortunately kept poor for election campaigns over the year. The intellectuals, however, are basically trying to show as if any case of hunger is only due to lockdown.
Soon after the lockdown was announced, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh took various steps to ensure that the poor and weaker sections do not suffer. Cash and food was provided. Meanwhile, the union cabinet recently approved a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan tranche which allocated food grains for stranded migrants. This is expected to benefit about 8 crore people living in different states. The State governments will be identifying the migrants, distribute the grains, will be conducting the complete implementation of this part of the scheme, and come back with the required guidelines.
Jobs for everyone
Now if only the ‘intellectuals’ were intelligent enough to do their homework before they write such Miss India type speech. Various state governments as well as central government are already chalking out details on how to create employment opportunities going forward. Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh has already directed the officials to work out details to create 15 lakh job opportunities in next 6 months. The Central Government, in its Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan economic package announcement also talked about various measures and financial incentives for creating job opportunities.
Income for everyone
Nothing is going to be sufficient in such a large nation. And did we really need leading intellectuals and economists to come up with this? Numbers again have been thrown with no explanation of how they were arrived, or from where money will come. In fact, it appears like after FM Sitharaman announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the ‘intellectuals’ scribbled some notes and whatever was already announced, they took essence from it and then arbitrarily put figures corresponding to them as per their whims.
Like, Yogendra Yadav’s gang of intellectuals talk about giving one-time subsidy of Rs 10,000 to hawkers, vendors, small shopkeepers to restart their businesses. Last week, FM Sitharaman announced relief measures to support 50 lakh street vendors. For street vendors, the government has announced Rs 5000 crore special credit facility with initial working capital of Rs 10,000. The Modi government also announced that it will launch special scheme within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to street vendor. This aimed at providing liquidity of Rs 5,000 crore.
No interest till economy revives
It is amusing how the ‘economists’ in Gangs of Yogenndra Yadav seem to be having a difficult relationship with economics. Banks are already stressed due to NPAs, farm loan waivers, etc. No interest on almost all of bank assets – loans are assets for them – means banks will come under further pressure. Banks are backbones of economy. And while Yadav and his buddies have made this sweeping suggestion, they provide zero solution to how the banks will survive without interest.
This is just one step short of asking RBI to print currency notes and distribute them for free so that people have money to spend. Oops. Did I just give them an idea for the next 11-point agenda they are bound to come up with post-Amphan?
All recources with citizens treated as national resources
Remember the “If I were the Prime Minister” essay I talked about before? Well, the kid who got A+ in that essay because he wrote all ‘heart touching and idealistic’ but absolutely impractical things, just wrote this point. These intellectuals and economists want everything you have ever owned including the underwear you’re wearing to be national property.
Let me allow the netizens to explain how exactly any logical, normal, sane human will feel about it.
To all the leading economists, intellectuals and activists- I propose a one point response pic.twitter.com/MLcqvvDKrD— Srishti Rajiv Sharma (@SrishtiRajiv) May 22, 2020
Well, the government should really not say no to help coming from all quarters and consider the properties of all those who signed the above letter as public property and do the needful. As a Bollywood villain in the 70s would say, in sab ka saala maal hadap lo.